CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Officials with West Texas A&M University announced Tuesday that one of its environmental science professors has recently been named as an advisory committee member for a U.S. Department of Energy lab.

According to a news release from the university, Naruki Hiranuma, an associate professor of environmental science in the Department of Life, Earth and Environmental Sciences in the university’s Paul Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences, was recently named to serve on the user executive committee for the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory.

Officials said in the release that the EMSL is the premiere molecular sciences laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. Scientists from around the world partner with the laboratory to use its space, expertise and equipment if their research proposal is accepted.

“I have benefitted from EMSL, the opportunity to use its state-of-the-art tools and the chance to collaborate with its scientists in the past,” Hiranuma said in the release. “So I am honored and grateful to have an opportunity to help other scientists in my role as a user committee member.”

While on the committee, the release said that Hiranuma will provide recommendations about the laboratory’s operating policies, its needs as well as provide recommendations on participants for proposal review panels for a three-year term. This position will allow him to help the research community facilitate their research at the lab.

“I will help current and future lab users achieve their research goals at the lab by giving them guidance on how best to work within its guidelines,” Hiranuma said in the release. “I also will be able to pass along user feedback to lab officials for possible improvements in its operations.”

In an interview with, Hiranuma said this is an opportunity for him to help people in the Texas Panhandle access these resources.

“We have great assets. We have great human resources. We have great people, but they just don’t know it’s available,” he said. “…I was a WT student 17 years ago and I got a lot of opportunities from the Texas A&M University System… Now, it’s my turn to help.”

Officials with the university said in the release that this is “a significant honor” for both Hiranuma and for West Texas A&M University as a whole.

“This brings attention to the quality of research conducted at West Texas A&M University,” David Sissom, a professor of biology and head of the Department of Life, Earth and Environmental Sciences, said in the release. “Dr. Hiranuma has been an outstanding and highly productive researcher in our department, and his research is internationally recognized.”

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